Apr 7, 2014

From Invisible Filmmaker to Independent Filmmaker

Weekend Retreat - Written & Directed by Brett Harvey


Weekend Retreat, the first film featured on Cinema Zero has been live just a few days and the numbers have been amazing.

Already, we're seeing that there's not only an appetite for a great movie (and it really is great), but there's also a hunger for a platform such as this.

To me, as one of the founders, it's amazing to see. But as a filmmaker in my own right, I'm absolutely stoked.

I know how hard it is to get any attention on a film - as well as shooting my own projects, I also spent five intense years overseeing the Bootleg Film Festival (now retired) - and just trying to get folks to watch the trailer can be tough. So to see a platform dedicated to one film at a time picking up some attention, yeah, that rocks.

The point is to help take largely undiscovered films through some of that uncertain valley between completing a festival run and finding eventual distribution. Essentially, it's about building an audience (and visibility) when no-one would otherwise see your film - which was surely the point of spending so much of the rent money and time making it.

Film discovery and distribution in the connected world is still, frankly, a mess. It shouldn't be this hard to build awareness of your film - that's why we're putting so much energy into Cinema Zero. I know we've still got a lot to figure out of course, but I'm confident that we're going in the right direction with this, and the more people know about it, the better it'll become. After all, cinema is magic.


Apr 3, 2014

Let It Go: Behind the Scenes

During the shoot of Let It Go - the new comedy I've just completed - the lead cast and I took a little time to sit down and answer a few questions on camera.

They range from talking about our careers and thoughts on cinema, through to our personal relationships with the film and just what we brought to the project.

There are conversations with Andrew Leland Rogers, Maria McIndoo, Josh Hawkins, Gillian Leigh Visco and myself, Tom Wilton. Take a look.

Mar 28, 2014

We Are The Helpless

Toby Spanton is making a feature.

Hold on - I know what you're thinking - who is Toby Spanton?

The writer and director of the short film Curiosity, starring Emily Blunt (yeah, that one) and Tom Riley (again - that one), and he also wrote and directed the 2013 short, Two Skeletons, set out here in NYC. So as you can see, he's got some vintage behind the camera.

Toby has also spent the last decade hustling as an AD on some of the biggest movies and TV shows produced, so he's about as close to a safe pair of hands you can hope for in a debut feature director.

We Are The Helpless is a Brooklyn-set love story, bathed in the gloomy light of the bare knuckle fighting world and the miscreants who control it. Through the darkness fighter Ryan and English poet Claire find each other, and from here they must navigate together to a better life.

Concept art from 'We Are The Helpless'

I'm joining Toby as a Producer on the film, and I'll be working hard to bring all the elements together to help him achieve his vision. From locations to crew, accommodation and background, I'll be throwing everything I have into making this film as great as it can possibly be.

Also joining the project as Executive Producer is Chris Croucher - a filmmaker and producer in his own right, most notable for his work on Downton Abbey and Broadchurch

So as you can see can see, we're really going after this. It's not going to be simple of course (filmmaking never is), but between us, we have what it takes.

The film promises to be dramatic, elegiac and powerful. The casting talks have started, and we're moving forward to make some the most brilliant film we possibly can. 

Now, we need your help and support.

Concept art from 'We Are The Helpless'

The Kickstarter campaign to help raise money for the project went live today, and we'd love for you to be involved. There's a whole scale of support - from a fiver up - and we'd really appreciate whatever you can give.

Of course, even if you're unable to help financially, you can still show the love by sharing the campaign on Twitter, Facebook & G+. The more people know about the film, the more chance we have of hitting our goal.

You can also follow the film on Twitter and Facebook, so be sure to hop on it. You can also check out more on the film via the details below, and let's make this happen.